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then becomes the transgressor; and he is exempt from the law of Sarah, who administered unto Abraham according to the law, when I commanded Abraham to take Hagar to wife. And now, as pertaining to this law, verily, verily I say unto you, I will reveal more unto you hereafter; therefore, let this suffice for the present. Behold, I am Alpha and Omega. Amen."
Faith is simply belief in some proposition; and, therefore the demand for faith when made by any person should be accompanied by evidence that the proposition is true—by such evidence as is sufficient to convince the reason. This evidence may be moral or miraculous, and both kinds were furnished in a divine abundance by the Son of God. He appealed to his doctrine as divinely wise—to his life as spotlessly pure—to ancient prophecy as witnessing of him—and to his supernatural works, as the Father's own testimony concerning him. From these works Nicodemus derived his faith" We know that thou art a teacher come from God, for no man can do these miracles that thou doest, except God be with him.” To these works he repeatedly referred his adversaries, as undeniable proof that he was the Sent of the Father.
Christianity demands to be believed, because she presents valid credentials of her divine origin; and she stands at the bar of human reason to be examined, in order that she may take her seat on the throne of the human soul. But Mormonism shuns this trial, and insists on faith as some practical principle, which must be exercised as the means of evidence. This is unbounded arrogance; and all the faith which is thus obtained, is superstitious and irrational. Much of what is said in Mormon books on faith, as a principle of power, is true in a sense—but not in their sense. Logically considered, their fallacy lies in confounding the basis and effect of faith. Its basis is testimony satisfactory to the judgment; and its effect just that influence which the object of it is naturally adapted to exert. Faith, therefore, in Christianity is the root of all its virtues and graces—the means by which the Spirit of Christ operates to carry on the processes of sanctification and transformation into the life of Jesus. In the Book of Covenants,' seven leetures on faith are given, in which the following passage occurs, which is here quoted as a specimen of Mormon metaphysics; and to shew what reliance can be placed on Mormonism interpreting Scripture; and also as indicating its grovelling tendency to reduce the Incomprehensible to a level with his creatures :
“The principle of power which existed in the bosom of God, by which the worlds were framed, was faith; and it is by reason of this principle of power existing in the Deity, that all created things exist; so that all things in heaven, on earth, or under the earth, exist by reason of faith, as it existed in Him."
Very instructive this may be to the initiated—but what can the understanding make of it? What truth is revealed by the assertion, that the principle of power in God is his faith? But apart from its want of intelligibility we are concerned with it as containing an allusion obviously borrowed from Hebrews xi. 3, and as intended for an exposition of that celebrated passage—“Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear." Comparing the two passages, we may ask, Could any interpretation be more sophistical? Does Paul assert that the worlds were made by faith—by God's faith? The most illiterate English reader, we may affirm, never could have fallen into such a misconception. Most distinctly does the Apostle declare, that through faith we know that the worlds were framed by the Divine word-hence it is our faith of which he speaks :—We were not present to perceive the Divine Artificer command the order and beauty of the universe into being; consequently it is only by faith we can know that this was done and our faith then becomes to us (according to the Apostle's definition in the first verse) the "evidence" or conviction " of things not seen.” Every Greek student will, on consulting the original, see, that if Paul had meant to predicate this faith as existing in God (and not directed to what he had done) another construction of the sentence must have been adopted-equivalent in English to~"We know that by faith God framed the world by his own word.” One such gloss and corruption brought home to selfstyled infallible interpreters, shakes their entire system into ruins; and renders faith in them an offence against prudence and common sense.